Nutritional Guidelines – Keeping Kids Safe

Anaphylaxis management is a shared responsibility among allergic students, parents, caregivers and the entire school or childcare community. Teachers and staff can help to reduce risks and create an allergy-safe environment for all students by following certain guidelines.

Identifying kids at risk:

Administrators should collect information about a student’s medical condition at the time of registration.

All staff including supply or substitute teachers must be aware of students with a severe allergy and have access to their allergy information.

Information about children with life-threatening allergies should be readily available.

Students at risk should wear medical identification such as a MedicAlert® bracelet.

Anaphylaxis Canada and The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network  in the United States have resource guides specific to school programs.

School Anaphylaxis Plans:

All schools should have a comprehensive written School Anaphylaxis Plan which clearly defines roles and responsibilities based on:

  • Respect for others
  • Sound medical information
  • Good avoidance strategies
  • Staff training
  • Realistic expectations of what the school community can do to safeguard allergic students.

In Elementary Schools

Many elementary schools have adopted different practices to reduce the risk of food-related allergic reactions such as:

  • A ‘no sharing’ policy for food-allergic children.
  • Procedures for proper hand washing and clean-up to be monitored by lunch supervisors.
  • Some schools have appealed to the community to keep peanut butter and other peanut/tree nut products out of the school.
  • Some schools require that children who bring peanut/tree nut products to school eat lunch at a designated table in the lunchroom or ask that food-allergic children sit at a table that has been designated ‘allergy-safe’.
  • Strategies to reduce the risk for other food allergens (e.g., milk, egg, sesame) and stinging insect allergy are usually developed in consultation with school staff, nurses (where available) and parents/guardians of allergic children.

Peanut Allergy Do’s:

  • Always wash hands before and after eating
  • Get help from an adult if you are worried about an allergic child
  • Always watch out for things that could make an allergic child sick

Peanut Allergy Don’ts:

  • Never make fun of kids with food allergies
  • Don’t share food with a food-allergic child
  • Never bring snacks to school that could make an allergic child sick
  • Don’t share straws, forks, knives or spoons

Remember, ingredients and manufacturing processes can change, so always read the label, every time to make the most informed choices.